Jake's Latest Hurdle

General questions about tests and procedures for diagnosing canine epilepsy. Please note that we cannot make a diagnosis or interpret specific test results via this forum - please consult your veterinarian for specific advice for your individual pet.

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Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:46 am

I wasn't really sure which heading I should put this under but here goes. Two weeks ago Jake suddenly couldn't walk and his head was leaning far to the right. We thought he'd had a stroke and rushed him to our vet. He was diagnosed with Vestibular Disease. Some people call it "Old Dog Syndrome". I've had 6 old dogs in my life and I'd never heard of it! The good news is they recover from it. Jake was like a big wet rag, and for almost a week we had to help him go to the bathroom and everything else. Then all of a sudden he was walking on his own and no head tilt. In the beginning there was the possibility that this was being caused by a brain tumor and if he hadn't started recovering the way he did I think we would have had a very sad story to report. He's almost 100% back to being Jake. Still a little vertigo, but minimal. It can take weeks for them to recover completely. The biggest problem we've had in the past week is keeping him from doing too much. The other day he got too eager and tried hopping up the front steps and fell. Now his back leg is bothering him but we're keeping an eye on it to make sure it's not associated with anything else. I wanted to post this so that if this happens to your dog you'd know about it and not think the worst right away. It was horrible, but boy has he shown that he's determined to live. He did have a seizure early this morning (sure we don't need sleep after the last week or so :)) and he came through it just fine. Very mild and so far so good.
I do hope that this never happens to your fur babies.
Take Care,
Lynne

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by MK's mom » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:24 am

I'm happy to hear that Jake's vestibular issue is clearing up. I have heard of this before, although I've not had a dog with it, but know folks who have. It's always something with our guys, isn't it?
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

ShilohsMom
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by ShilohsMom » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:16 am

Oh no, sorry to hear that Jake had a seizure. :( SLEEEEEP.....SLEEEP.....We dun't need no stinkin' sleep!
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Eley's Mom
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:54 am
Location: Chicago, West Suburbs

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by Eley's Mom » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:01 am

Glad Jake is doing better!

I think our dogs just want us to constantly show we love them (as if we don't do that enough). Sure enough, any time you think you can get caught up in a little sleep or start to relax, the pups have a different agenda!

The things we do for those babies.. :)
Diana & Eley
Boston Terrier (23 lbs)
DOB: 11/12/09
First Seizure 2/8/14
Last Seizure 10/9/16
Phenobarbital 48.6mg (morning), 56.7mg p.m. (night)
3 mL Potasium Bromide, once daily
Clorazepate as needed after seizures

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by SpencerBhumi » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:23 pm

Hi Lynne,

The love we have for our dogs…

On Easter Sunday I came home from work to find Bhumi (Spencer’s mother) in a similar state.

Her head was reined tight to the right and she would walk slowly, hugging the wall or furniture etc. on her left. If she had nothing to lean against whilst walking she walked slow circles to the right. She had difficulty getting from standing to lying with the final act being an uncontrolled drop onto her side. Getting to sleep (relaxing) took forever. She had lost her vision such that she could not see the food I put into her bowl just under her nose, and she could not see us waving at her from 20 feet away. (This was a slight benefit because she couldn’t see the postman or school kids going by to bark at them). Her hearing was also impaired such that when we called her she could not locate us, despite standing directly in front of us. She had some difficulty eating & drinking but this was more locating the food than actually consuming it. Otherwise she was totally normal: coordinated, orientated and continent (and perhaps oblivious to her arthritic knee). Bhumi will turn 11 at the end of July.

I took her immediately to the vet (Easter Sunday – on call rates of course) and they presumed it to be a stroke of some degree (MRI out of the que$tion). We treated her with a course of steroid and ‘wait and see’.
(Coincidentally Bhumi was in the middle of a course of Pentosan for arthritis & following a knee repair. We continued and completed this course).

Within about two weeks she was back to 90% normal with residual deficits that only we could recognise, and by now there is no evidence of anything having happened… except… the barking at the postman has diminished. Her first voice to return, within the first week, was howling. She would howl terribly from loneliness (? anxiety & fear) but fortunately this has settled down. She is however a little more dependant than she used to be.

Diagnosis: inconclusive.

Meanwhile, Spencer continues along ‘stable’, fitting from every 10 to 30 days. Going in aggressively with Keppra & Valium after any witnessed fit we are keeping them generally to one fit per episode and with minimal post ictal issues. (Now 5 years an epi-dog survivor).


I wish you well and hope Jake continues to improve and stay healthy.


Always thinking of and praying for our forum members and your epi-dogs

Trevor & Spencer

Grateful for the good days, weeks (months).

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:13 am

Thanks everyone for your support. It's hard enough dealing with epilepsy, but when they get what any dog can get on top of it it can really throw you off guard. I think it's almost like we forget they're getting old too and these things can come up.
Jake is doing much better. The head tilt, and vertigo are gone and his eyesight is back. And if it weren't for his right leg he'd be 100% Jake. We're treating it as a sprain for now and keeping him from doing much, which is easier said than done, for the next few days. He's had a few days where he was almost walking normally and of course he overdoes it and it gets a little worse again. Last night he actually tried to jump up up on our bed without our help so that's progress. Luckily I got to him in time, but he needed very little help. If he isn't much better next week we'll probably do an x-ray but at this point it does look like a sprain.
Wow, Trevor do I ever know how you felt! It certainly does sound like Bhumi also had Vestibular Disease. A few people I know have dogs that went through it and they said that their dogs regained the ability to walk within a week or so, but the residual "not quite themselves" lasted for about a month or more. Jake is still a little spacey from time to time, but it seems to be associated more with when we give him extra anti seizure meds which makes his spacey anyway.
Yes, we do love our amazing pets don't we? I can't imagine not having them. Bumps and all!

Take Care and I hope you're all doing well.
Give your fur kids a big hug from us.
Lynne

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:29 am

I thought I'd give an update on Jake. The last few weeks have been a roller coster ride to say the least. Two weeks ago it was like his tongue was suddenly injected with novacane. He couldn't hold treats in his mouth and when he ate, food went everywhere. Long story short, it was some idiopathic neurological "event", separate from the vestibular disease, that he recovered from completely. We took him off from a few supplements, including Traumeel, to see if maybe something wasn't playing well together. Then... he had a seizure and when I gave him his post seizure meds he became so ataxic he could barely walk. Plus, he was still limping. We took him to our vet and decided to reduce his post seizure meds, and put him back on Traumeel. Plus, it turns out he has a partial ACL tear in his right knee.
We haven't done an MRI because of the cost and it was agreed that that since he's recovered so well from all of this, chances are it's not a tumor. And if it is, there really isn't anything we can do. It's also possible that he had a small blood clot that resolved itself. But basically he's an 11 year old refractory epi dog.
Then of course fireworks all around spooked him last Saturday and he had a seizure. We tried 1/4 tab of Clorazepate post seizure, plus extra Pb, followed by 5mgs tab of Vallium 2 hours later and he did very well. No ataxia, and he slept. Then yesterday he started walking so much better even with the ligament problem. It turns out Traumeel was helping a lot more than we thought. We're cautiously optimistic. He's even coming to greet us the way he used to. Despite everything, he remained happy and pretty much brushed it off. Not me... I was a mess.
One word of caution to anyone who has a dog with any kind of leg/spine challenges or injuries, Clorazepate and Valium are both muscle relaxers so after seizures if they make your dog really ataxic you may have to adjust the dose.
Hopefully this is it for now. I thought of a lot things going through this. I cried because I thought Jake was on his way out, and I thought of all of you. We really are a family here aren't we?
One thing I do know is that our Jake is one tough dog who isn't going down without a fight :)
Lynne

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by MK's mom » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:10 pm

That poor little guy has more to deal with than anyone should have to! It seems like these guys never have just ONE problem. I hope he is better with each day and that you can relax and rest yourself.
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

ShilohsMom
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by ShilohsMom » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:15 pm

Lynne,

When it rains, it pours huh? I'm so sorry that Jake has had so many issues, it's hard enough on them, but to watch them go through it and feel so helpless is awful. They are so much more resilient than we are. Glad to hear that he's getting back to a more normal. Do you have a Thundershirt for him? I know it's helpful for some dogs during stressful events, like fireworks.

I didn't think about Valium being a muscle relaxer, so that is good to know. I stopped giving it to Shiloh because if I'm adding it when he's taking PB he really has a hard time walking, so I quit the Valium. It really wasn't helping in controlling the clusters.

Thoughts & prayers that Jake will continue to improve.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:54 am

Thank you. Up until now I've always considered us lucky because Jake has been so healthy outside of epilepsy related problems. I think it's easy to forget that they get old dog problems like all dogs do. As it turns out, one of our vet's techs has a dog that had the same thing as Jake and he completely recovered. It took four months but he came through it. Jake really is giving this a run for it's money. We just got back from our walk and the hardest thing is keeping him from trotting instead of walking. I know I've said this before, but I've learned so much from him.
I haven't tried a thunder shirt yet but we have tried using something similar. Our house was hit by lightening not long after we rescued Jake and he and I both went through it together. I don't wish that on anyone. Before that he wasn't afraid at all. We treat him for it, and he usually does pretty well, but the other night was ridiculous. I think the houses on the ridge behind our house had a competition going and the sound echoed in our woods.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Yesterday was the first time I've really relaxed in awhile :)
Take Care,
Lynne

ShilohsMom
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Jake's Latest Hurdle

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:16 am

Lynne,

So excited to hear of Jake's progress. It's really encouraging to hear other people who have dealt with similar issues and how their furry babies came through with flying colors. I find it difficult at times to have a dog with issues because unless you've dealt with it, you have no idea what we (owners & dogs) go through. One of the things I love about the internet is how it brings people from all over the world together united to bring hope and comfort to each other.

Continued thoughts & prayers for many wonderful days.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

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